Scientists are launching their next step to find aliens this week.
There is always excitement whenever there is the possibility of discovering that we are not the only life form in the galaxy.
Whether it be looking into apparent UFO sightings or noticing something unfamiliar in the solar system, it is something that astronomers are dedicating their life work towards.
Now, scientists are preparing to make for their next step, which involves locating aliens.
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The Juice satellite is set to launch this week from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
The name stands for JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer and it t will embark on an eight-year, 4.1 billion mile (6.6 billion km) trip to the Jovian system – which is where the gas planet of Jupiter can be found.
It will arrive in 2031 and is expected to carry out 35 flybys of Jupiter and its three large ocean-bearing moons Callisto, Ganymede and Europa.
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The closer it gets, the spacecraft will use advanced technology to explore and study the planets and investigate whether any of the satellites that surround it are habitable.
After completing its flybys – which should be done by late 2034 – Juice will enter a permanent of Ganymede.
The satellite will survive on as little power as a hairdryer and has a ‘nuclear bunker’ which will shelter its electronics from radiation.
This will be one of the most daring space missions Europe have launched as it will be the closest it will ever be to those planets.
Dr Caroline Harper, head of space science at the UK Space Agency, says: “Juice will take us to a part of the solar system that we know relatively little about, to study Jupiter, our largest planet, and to investigate whether some of its icy moons are home to conditions that could support life.'”
Europa is looking to be the most likely of Jupiter’s moons to host extraterrestrial life due to the ocean of water that lies under its crust – which has twice as much water as Earth.
However, Juice will only be able to have a small glimpse of it due to the environment around the moon – which is so unforgiving NASA claims it would destroy a spacecraft within a couple of months, at best.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Andrew Coates says: “Of the Galilean satellites, Europa is the most likely [to have alien life] as the ocean is likely in contact with sand/rock according to models.
“Whereas at Ganymede and Callisto, the ocean floor would be ice due to lower temperature.”
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